Kauai County's economic recovery from the devastating 1992 hurricane could be hindered if a statewide public employee strike is prolonged, Moody's Investors Service said.

But, "no short-term credit impact is foreseen" from the strike, which began April 18 and involves state and county white-collar bargaining units, A Moody's press release said last week.

Despite the uncertainty, Moody's said it assigned an A rating to Kauai County's scheduled competitive sale on May 18 of $8.32 million of general obligation refunding bonds and $4.28 million of GO water bonds.

This would be the first debt sale by the county since Hurricane Iniki swept through Kauai in September 1992, causing an estimated $1.7 billion of damage, including $100 million to county facilities, Moody's said.

"The county's recovery efforts were greatly helped by a 1992 decision to provide Kauai County with 100% -- instead of 80% -- federal emergency reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency," Moody's said.

Administrative delays brought on by the strike could squeeze important state and county revenue sources by stopping permit processing and property and vehicle title transfers, the release said.

"There is hope" among state and county officials that the strike will end soon, Moody's assistant vice president Nikolai J. Sklaroff said.

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